Friday, March 22, 2013

Reading blog entries during the climb.

I intend to do a few things differently with this blog on the upcoming climb and would like to explain them in advance. 

Vital Signs
Many entries will begin with a reading of my Blood-oxygen saturation (Sp02) and my resting heart rate (RHR) as measured by a pulse oximeter. This is a handy little device that clips onto the index finger. The readings should give some idea of how well I am acclimating when compared to earlier visits to a given altitude. As a baseline, I currently read Sp02 98/RHR 64. The higher the Sp02 reading the better.  It is common at altitude to see Sp02 readings that would signal respiratory failure at sea level (less than 90). So we should be careful to not draw conclusions from any one reading, but rather compare readings for indications of progress. 
In general, a low RHR is desirable. 

Quick Posts
I have set up my cell phone so I can text entries directly into this blog. Though it can be hit and miss, I am told cell phones now work on many parts of the mountain. In one climber journal I read, he made the first cell phone call from the summit of Everest! I would like to make short entries this way, perhaps reporting my arrival at key destinations. 

Time Zone
I will note each entry with the date and local time. Nepal is 13 hours 40 minutes ahead of Pacific Standard Time (where most of my Readers live). 
I have looked for the reasoning behind this strange 40 minute offset, but can only identify the theory that Nepal wished to be different from India, which has a 30 minute offset.  New Delhi, India is halfway between two meridians, and so made the equananimous choice to split the difference instead of adopting the time of either. Such decisions are typically made by the Politicians in a given country. Hugo Chavez, then president of Venezuela, famously moved his country's time zone by 30 minutes in 2003, throwing computer systems into disarray. His rationale for doing so was to allow school children to sleep longer. "These children have to get up at 5 in the morning  ...they arrive at school dead tired," he said. One can never start too soon when it comes to winning votes. 

Reader Comments
I encourage Readers to leave comments at the end of blog entries   ...especially if they say nice things about me. Here is how; 
1. At the bottom of each blog entry you will see "No Comments" or "2 Comments" in light print. Click on that. 
2. A comment box will appear for you to leave your message in. 
3. "Comment as" is below with a drop down menu. If you do not have a Google profile, just select "Anonymous".
4. Click "Publish". 
I will read and respond to these.

Aside from myself, my Sherpa, and my climbing partner Ty I will not be using anyone's real name for the entries during the climb.  Except in instances where it is highly relevant to the story, I probably will not even comment on what is happening with others and their climb. Climbers come to Everest for a once in a lifetime experience, and should not have to worry about what someone may write about them. So this will primarily be a story about my own experience, such as it may be.